Sunday, November 28, 2010

Black Friday weekend

This weekend is a bit of a blur. The kids have been cranky. My daughter lost her "bezra", a dinky little 1 inch zebra that came in a pack of 20 jungle animals in the dollar bin at Target. This 5 cent toy has caused a good 5 hours of meltdowns and delayed naps and bedtime. Do I buy a new "bezra"? Do I hope she just forgets it and attaches to the hippo or lion? Tough call. I'm going to see how the next day goes. Of course, Target does not sell these anymore, so I'm not sure how to get a new one, but I'll think of something, if need be.

So, shopping. I went to Jo-Ann fabric store on Friday and again on Saturday. I have the cutest projects planned! I will be making burp cloths and blankets for my soon-to-be new little niece, due in February. And cosmetic bags for my sisters, mom, and of course one for me, too. Who can resist a cute little make up bag? I did great on Friday, spending $26 and saving $70. Saturday was not as great, but still pretty good. I spent $30, but I lost the receipt and can't remember the savings. My house is kind of a disaster right now. I need a day to just stay home and clean.

I did a bit of online shopping, since the kids are just too hard to take out for long times, and a double stroller is no fun in crowds. At Kohls's, I found 2 cute sweaters for my son, and a snuggie for my husband, as a gag gift. Total: $25. Kmart had kids shoes and slippers at a great price, with free shipping. My son will now have sneakers to replace the ones he put holes in within a month (!!!) and slippers. $11 total after tax.

I found some deals on Mostly DVDs for $1.99. I also found gifts for my dad, mom, and husband. I don't think I have ever been completely finished with my Christmas shopping before December. It's a strange feeling. I do need to order some photo gifts, using my groupon for Picaboo. And then there is the sewing and some baking. But I love all of that, so it should be fun.

Let's see... I went to Rite Aid today. I stuck to items I really need, not things that generate a lot of UPs. I ended up with 3 boxes of Splenda, 3 boxes of Puffs tissues, 4 Lysol wipes (35 count), 2 Clorox wipes (35 count), 2 Lysol Sprays, and a Secret clinical strength deodorant. I spent $1.51 out of pocket, used $15 in UPs, and earned $5 UPs (3 from the Splenda, and 1 each from the Lysol spray and Clorox wipes). Not bad in all. I wanted to get some Olay products with the great coupons from the paper this weekend, but my store was wiped out. I may try another store later in the week, or maybe not. I'm starting to burn out on Rite Aid.

I also hit the grocery store today. My $99 total came down to $62 after $15 in store savings and $22 in coupons, a reduction of 37%. And I found some tear-pad coupons for $3/3 glade products. I've been looking for these, so that was a nice score!

And now a little rant. I ran in to Target today to use my $3 Nivea body wash coupons on their 2.99 sale, and of course they were sold out. Not a huge deal, since I have 4 from the sale at Rite Aid. I have a coupon to get a free Secret clinical deodorant when you buy a Venus razor cartridge, so I wanted to price check that while I was there. There was one Secret box with a sticker claiming "$15 in coupons inside", but the box looked funny. I peeked in, and sure enough, someone had taken the coupons. Come on! It's one thing to grab tear pads, hanging tags, and blinkies, but to open a product and take the coupons? That is just unethical and, well, cheap.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Deals

My husband is working today, so we did our Thanksgiving yesterday. Since today is just another day for me and the kids, I decided to hit a couple of deals at Rite Aid, CVS, and Food Lion. I will not venture out tomorrow, because it's just too hard to navigate the stroller around with the crowds. But today was nice, and I got some great deals!

Food Lion:

Total Spent: $7.70
3 bottles of diet tonic water, 1 milk, 2 McCain Simply Potatoes, 4 bags of Steamfresh vegetables, and a bag of marshmallows.


Total Spent: 14.12
2 Herbal Essences shampoos, 1 Eucerine lotion, 2 Colgate sensitive toothpastes, 2 Listerine pocket packs, and 5 Reeses cups.
I started without any ECBs, and left with $18.95.

Rite Aid:

Total Spent: $16.78
Oh, Rite Aid, how I do love you...
4 4 packs of Angel Soft TP, 2 Rice Krispies, 2 Cottonelle wipes, 2 Dial hand soap, 5 Planter's nuts, 4 Vaseline Intensive Care lotions, 1 Duracell D battery, 2 Duracell C batteries, 3 Duracell AA batteries, 2 Holiday M&Ms, 10 assorted candy bars, and 5 Carmex lip balms.
I started with $9 in UPRs, and left with $21. I also qualified to receive a $5 SCR (Rite Aid "Single Check Rebate") for the batteries.

It was a great day!

So, what am I going to do with all of this? Well, the tp, wipes, soap, cereal, and batteries are all household necessities. The shampoos, lotions, and most of the candies will make their way into gift baskets and stockings. We'll be doing some entertaining this season, so the nuts and m&ms will be useful then.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Weekend Shopping 11/20 - 11/21

I hit Rite Aid with my Huggies coupons yesterday. Sadly, they were low on stock, so I was only able to do 1 set at store A and 2 at store B. In total, I bought 9 jumbo packs of Huggies.

Regular Price: 11.99 * 9 = $107.91

My total out of pocket cost was $19.72, and that included 2 boxes of Nature Made granola bars. And I now have $9 in UPR from my last transaction ($3 UPR per package of Huggies).

Target has great coupons in their sale flier for this week. I ended up with two sets: one from my local paper on Friday, and one from the Sunday paper. With my 2 coupons for 50% off princess dresses clutched in my hand, I went first thing this morning and bought a yellow Belle dress and a purple Rapunzel dress. I also bought the Fisher Price airport play set that is on sale from 39.99 to 19.99, using a coupon for $5 off any FP toy over $19.99. So $34.98 was my total for the airport and 2 dresses. I am officially cutting myself off from buying any more toys for the twins for Christmas. If I see any more great deals, then those toys will be saved for their birthday in July. But I do need to focus on my husband and the rest of my family now.

I took a quick trip to Giant while I was out today. My total was $34.73 less $17.23 savings, ending with $17.50. That's almost 50% savings! Plus I earned a catalina for $1.00 off my next order for buying 4 pillsbury products.

$17.50 bought me: 1 gallon of milk, 10 Dannon yogurts, 2 Yoplait greek yogurts, 3 Pillsbury grands jr, 1 Pillsbury sweet moments, 2 bottles of Frank's hot sauce, 2 bottles of Tabasco, 1 Lindsey olives, and 1 Hillshire Farms sausage link.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Coupons On Order

I placed some orders for a few (ahem 110) coupons last night. Hello, coupon addiction! Anyway, I got 20 coupons for 2.00/1 Huggies. I received notice that they shipped today, so I should get them before the killer diaper deal at Rite Aid ends on Saturday night.

Rite Aid Huggies Deal: on sale for 8.99, get 3.00 UPR. Factor in the $2.00 coupon and my $5/25 Rite Aid coupons, and you have some really cheap diapers. I don't plan to use all 20 coupons right now, I just had to buy them as a lot. They expire in December, so I'll probably have another chance to use them. I'll roll my UPRs for a second transaction, and then save those UPRs for Black Friday. Can't wait!

Giant 11/16/10

My local Giant Food is running a couple of great deals this week. I ordered some Sara Lee coupons from ebay, and they came in last night. Time for shopping!

Buy 1 Sara Lee pie and 1 Breyer's ice cream, save $3.00 instantly. Limit 1 per transaction.
** Pie: $3.50 Ice Cream: $2.50. $1.50 for both with coupon + deal
Buy 3 items including Sara Lee pie and College Inn broth, get 200 gas points (20 cents per gallon)
** Broth: $2.00 each on sale
Buy 4 items including Breyer's ice cream and Skippy peanut butter, get 100 gas points (10 cents per gallon)
** Skippy: $2.00 each on sale

** Starkist tuna pouch: $1.89 regular price
** Green Mountain K cups: $5.99 on sale

I needed to do 5 transactions to get the pie/ice cream deal. Which is admittedly a little nuts. But I was sure to go when I knew the store would be empty. And heck, I'm going to be hosting 3 different Christmas dinners and 2 Thanksgivings. I need a good pie & ice cream deal.

Total Spent: $28.36
Total Saved: $69.42
Savings: 71%
Bonus Gas Points Earned: 500 = 50 cents per gallon

Coupons used:
5 x .75/1 Sara Lee pie (doubled)
1 x .75/1 College Inn broth (doubled)
1 x 1.00/2 College Inn broth
3 x .50/1 Skippy peanut butter (doubled)
1 x 2.00/2 Green Mountain K-cups
1 x .75/1 Starkist Tuna pouch
1 x 4.50 Any Milk - catalina from a prior purchase of cereals

Ooh - I was just looking over my receipts, and it looks like I earned an extra 100 gas points. I guess the last 4 ice creams qualified for the bonus, even though they were in separate transactions. So, 600 gas points earned!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Weekly Planning - 11/15

We have a big event on Friday night, so dinners will be light this week. These are our last 4 days on the South Beach Diet, and I am so ready to start planning meals with carbs again!

Monday: eggplant lasagna
Tuesday: fajita salads
Wednesday: greek meatloaf with grilled zucchini and tzatiki
Thursday: chicken caesar salads
Friday: GALA!
Saturday: mini Thanksgiving dinner with my parents: baked ham, sweet potato casserole, steamed green beans. Pie & ice cream for dessert
Sunday: beef stew in the crockpot.

I bought 3 pounds of 93/7 ground beef marked down to 2.79 a pound at the store yesterday. I'm going to pull out my Once a Month cookbooks and get a few meals ready for the freezer. With the holiday rush coming up, it will be great to have some home-cooked meals frozen and ready to heat up on those days when I'm just too busy to get dinner ready.

I really want to get back into my exercising routine again this week. We went on vacation early last month, and I just haven't been able to get into it since we came home. My plan is to run 2 miles on my treadmill or do Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred 3 days this week. I will also get the kids and dog out on a 1 - 3 mile walk every day. If nothing else, this is good for all four of us!

I need to get my housework routine back on track, too.

Monday: vacuum and laundry
Tuesday: sheets & towels
Wednesday: master bedroom & bath
Thursday: powder room and guest rooms
Friday: vacuum, swiffer, dust, guest bathroom

Sunday, November 14, 2010

My 11/14 Shopping Trips

I started clipping coupons in September 2010. Nothing crazy, just a few here and there. Then I realized that you can get a lot of free stuff if you spend a little time planning and organizing your shopping trips around weekly sales. And then I got a binder to hold my coupons, and found ebay and coupon clipping websites. And now I am hooked.

I went to Rite Aid and Target today. I bought some Christmas gifts and some gear for the kids in Target, so I won't go into the details of my entire Target purchase, but here are the highlights:

PAM spray: on sale for $2.00 for original and butter flavored, and $2.28 for olive oil. I found coupon booklets at Food Lion with 1.50 coupons for Pam. Score!

10 x PAM sprays - 10 x 1.50 coupons = 5.87 total

Celestial Seasoning teas are 2.05 each this week, which I paired with $1.00 coupons, ending with $1.05 each.

DelMonte canned vegetables: $.45 each. I bought 10 for 4.50, then used 2 coupons for $1.00/5, for a total of $2.50, or .25 each.

Now for the big savings. I spent $18.22 out of pocket for all of this, after tax.

3 packs of Huggies Jumbo Little Movers
2 Blue Diamond Natural Almonds
2 Blue Diamond Oven Roasted Almonds
1 Herbal Essences Shampoo and 1 Conditioner
1 Olay Body Wash and 1 Lotion
4 Right Guard deodorants
2 Betty Crocker Potatoes
1 Trial Sized Secret Deodorant
1 L'oreal True Match Foundation
2 L'oreal True Match Powders
1 L'oreal True Match Blush
2 Holiday M&Ms
Not Pictured: 2 x 10lb bags of Tidy Cat Litter

Total Retail: $154.48

This took 3 transactions in all. I started with 8 Up Rewards, and left with 4. Not too shabby!

Rite Aid 11/7

Last week was the first time I really scored at Rite Aid. I was so proud of myself that I took a picture.

Ok, 7 of those 8 toothpastes are from Food Lion. They were on sale for $1 each, and I had a bunch of $1 coupons.

The rest was all Rite Aid.
5 Garnier Fructis styling products
5 Garnier Fructis shampoos and conditions
4 Nivia men's body wash
2 Nivia women's body wash
2 boxes of tampons
8 Crest toothpaste (7 from Food Lion, 1 from Rite Aid)

I don't remember the specifics of the retail prices for all of these products, but I spent $7.42 on them before tax.

A Fresh Start

I'm going to try my hand at blogging. I don't have a theme or over-reaching goal for this blog. It's just going to be a place to keep track of my daily life. I have 2 year old twins, and they keep me very busy. I'd love to think that I'll remember every minute of this time that I have at home with them, but I know I will not. So this is where I'll keep notes from my daily life. Couponing. Menu planning. Housekeeping (uh, when I get around to that...). And keeping up with the little people in my life.